Day 268. Saturday 16th September 2023. Bluff Camp Ground, Durban. South Africa. End mileage 214723

Today has been a sitting around day. Fine till around 1pm when a drizzly rain started. We are not used to this and wet weather shows up deficiencies in our Caranex. Tomorrow is expected to be fine but cloudy and cooler, 19degC but best of all, it’s cooler at night.

By and large our touring is over, for now anyway. If there are no major issues with Poki, we’ll start planning the last leg of the trip, South America, but not till we have recovered from Africa

Meantime we are flat out organising stuff, at least Jen is. Decisions of when to fly from SA to UK? When to book our return flights to New Zealand, which means estimating the return date to the UK next year. Thinking about transport from the shippers depot to our rental place and again, from there to the airport.

It’s tricky booking a flight out of here. Tomorrow Sunday, we leave the camp and after picking up our suitcases from KeyLargo, head to a self catering cottage closer to where Poki is being repaired. We’ll stay there till we hopefully take Poki to the shippers depot for inserting in a container, on Thursday. and fly out Friday. This of course assumes all goes well. The challenge is, if we have to stay longer for whatever reason, we would loose our fare, or have to pay a significant penalty to change it. Any delay in booking sees fares rise by the day.

Poki is expected to arrive in Rotterdam on 7th November. We will stay in the UK till then and probably take the EuroStar train to Rotterdam a couple of days after it arrives and is cleared. We’ll ship from Hook of Holland to Harwich in the UK and drive it back to Wineham, in Sussex.

All going well, we could be back in New Zealand by mid November. We are both looking forward to that. Our house and garden will need lots of TLC to get to back into shape and we are looking forward to catching up with family, friends and Car Club events and happenings.

It’s been an extremely challenging time through Africa. The time wasted sitting around in Lome and then Durban has drastically reduced the time we have had to better explore Southern Africa. We have very much missed the experience of Adam in knowing the short cuts and best places to visit in Africa and if we can, we will catch up with him if he is still in Holland. His assignment for the CDC in the Democratic Republic of Congo was cut short due to violence in the area, and he was repatriated back to Holland.

Visits: 173


  1. Great ro to see all is not too bad with Poki and yourselves. Whats this talk of South America, you should be sitting in an old folks home dribbling in your porridge.
    All is good with 24. Look forward to seeing you in November. I will come and pick you up.

    • Hi Ash, yes, looking forward to seeing you too, and Lizzy, and all the families. Will have to get a zimmer soon…:)

  2. Good luck bro and Jen. Just wondering if it would have been better to ship Poki as is and repair in UK. Anyway, hope all goes well of course. Just off for a day as deckhand on the Oscar, weather really coming good here, sunny 28 today.

    • Hi! Bro, thanks for the kind wish. We’re very happy with our S.A. garage, they are amazing to work with and have our total confidence. Plus, we are shipping back to a very different climate.
      Don’t slip off the deck, there might not be a rope to save you…nudge, wink..:)

  3. Dennis – don’t know if you remember a young Yank hitchhiker who you picked up in 1981 somewhere outside Wellington. You were very hospitable and let me stay with you and your family for several days. As you told me stories of your initial overland trip in 1970, I sensed that maybe you kind of missed some of those times. Well, looks like you’ve certainly been making up for it in recent years! I discovered your blog a few months ago and have really enjoyed following along on the adventures of you and Jen. Congratulations, a lot of people stop chasing their dreams as they get older, but seems you’re still going strong… My wife and I will be in NZ next month but looks like you won’t be back yet, sorry we’ll miss you, would have been fun to catch up. Safe travels, and looking forward to the next episode from South America!

  4. Kevin, well well, it’s like picking up a bottle on the beach, with a note inside!!!
    A shame we won’t be back in time to meet. I sense there will be other opportunities? Lifetimes to discuss. Please stay in touch. Photo’s, family… You have a amazing memory.

    Thank you for inquisitiveness.

    Dennis & Jen

  5. Yep, I remember this fellow. He made quite the good impression on our family. Over forty years ago? Out of the blue, aye?

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